Will the United States enter a civil war? To ask this question a few years ago would have seemed absurd. Not in 2020. Even less after the arrest on Thursday of 13 weirdos who imagined they were protecting the US Constitution by kidnapping and killing the governor of Michigan.
Donald Trump has just added fuel to the fire by accusing the governor of doing a horrible job in her state. One way of telling people who want to overthrow power by force of arms that they are right. The governor of Michigan has vigorously denounced Trump’s comments. But for months Trump has feared losing the election. “ Stand back and stand by (“Stand back, but ready for action”), he told various armed groups during the debate. Trump incites violence and civil war.
What is a civil war?
Civil war goes beyond revolt or temporary violent action. It involves at least two organized groups waging war with weapons within the borders of the same state. Civil war can have many causes. It could be a leader who refuses to lose some of his power and calls for violence. This is the case of Mao Zedong with the Cultural Revolution. Civil war can also result from a war of independence. This is what happened in Algeria after World War II. It can be a religious or ethnic war, as in Rwanda. Civil wars usually arise when a part of a population feels seriously wronged and when it believes that nothing but armed struggle can redress the situation.
Who feels wronged in the United States?
A lot of people feel aggrieved in the United States, starting with racial minorities. Racism is still extremely prevalent in the United States, particularly in the Southeastern states. But middle-class and poor whites are also unhappy, partly because their economic situation has deteriorated dramatically over the past 40 years. Some of them blame minorities for this deterioration.
Is the situation so worrying?
Violence is likely to emerge following the next election if neither side manages to win with a sufficient majority. For both sides, the winning side will have cheated, so the president will not be legitimate. Civil disobedience could easily set in, and from there a civil war could emerge.
Who would be responsible for this civil war?
It is very clear that it is the Republicans, and with them Donald Trump, who are clinging to power. For example, for the past few years, Republicans have tried to spread the fable that the United States is not a democracy and never was. They would do well to reread the preamble to the US Constitution. It begins with “We the People …”
Is civil war inevitable?
At the moment, the military does not appear to have taken sides. The leaders of the army give the impression of seeking to preserve the established order and social peace. Likewise, government departments, such as intelligence agencies, also appear to be on the side of the established order. Several Republican leaders are calling for a peaceful handover of power if Trump is defeated. But who could master an armed rebellion led by notorious Republicans or Democrats?